blog home Car Accidents Keep safe in parking lots this winter

Keep safe in parking lots this winter

By Ken Gibson on January 15, 2023

Winter in Virginia is beautiful, and many people are out visiting friends and family, or just running errands. But unfortunately, winter is a time when parking lot accidents increase.

Weather conditions and extra traffic create hazards that lead to more falls, car crashes, and pedestrian accidents overall. Several factors make parking lots more dangerous in particular. Bad weather conditions reduce visibility, and snow, rain, and ice make it harder for cars to stop quickly. Drivers may be intoxicated from attending winter parties or after meeting friends in restaurants or bars. Driving safely also becomes more difficult when drivers have a car full of people.

Too many accidents happen in parking lots. When cars and pedestrians congregate in a small area, the chances increase for someone to get hurt. Tragically, drivers often don’t remember to slow down when they enter a parking lot. And sadly, victims in parking lot accidents are often children.

But there’s good news: property owners, drivers, and pedestrians can take extra precautions to help keep everybody safer this winter.

How can property owners make parking lots safer?

Parking lots aren’t patrolled by the police, so it’s up to the property owner to provide security. Here are a few ways property owners can and should make parking lots safer:

  • Post speed limits clearly.
  • Post clear directions for where drivers can park and which directions they can go.
  • Mark walkways and crosswalks clearly for pedestrians.

Regardless of whether the government or a private person owns a property, it’s always the owner’s responsibility to eliminate hazards that could harm people, such as:

  • Potholes
  • Poor lighting
  • Uneven pavement
  • Unmarked hazards
  • Broken stairs
  • Unclear directions
  • Debris
  • Puddles

How can drivers and pedestrians stay safe in parking lots during the winter?

As a driver or a pedestrian, you can watch out for these hazards and be extra careful when you spot them:

  • Slippery conditions
  • Speeding drivers
  • Distracted drivers
  • DUI
  • Drainage issues
  • Snow blocking signs and directions

Whether you’re walking or driving this winter, you can protect yourself and your loved ones in other ways, including:

  1. Drive more slowly.
  2. Pay extra attention when walking or driving.
  3. Don’t be in hurry – wherever you’re going isn’t worth getting seriously injured.
  4. Hold on to your children when walking.
  5. Set car or truck mirrors correctly before you start out.
  6. Don’t expect other vehicles to stop for you in parking lots – drive and walk defensively.
  7. Watch out for pedestrians at all times.
  8. Watch out for stray shopping carts.
  9. Be extra careful when backing up.

Who’s responsible for parking lot injuries?

We all have a duty to avoid harming others. That means people who own and operate parking lots must keep aware of winter conditions and take steps to eliminate hazards.

The following people may be held responsible for injuries resulting from a parking lot accident:

  • Property owners
  • Local government officials
  • Management companies
  • Negligent drivers

If you are harmed in a parking lot accident, your Virginia personal injury lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation, examining police reports, surveillance video, witness testimony, and other evidence. Then your attorney can file a claim against anyone whose negligent actions contributed to your injuries.

Were you harmed in a parking lot accident?

At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, our partners, Ken Gibson and John Singleton, consider it our calling to help friends and neighbors who’ve been harmed by the careless actions of others.

We have a highly successful track record of helping our clients to pay their medical bills and put their lives back together after an accident caused by someone else.

Call (804) 413-6777 to schedule a FREE consultation today. And remember, we don’t get paid until you do.

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Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    GibsonSingleton launches a “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.